Families Go Up In Smoke

Mother of the Year?
I’m in a bit of a mood today. It just seems like nothing’s going right. And yet, when I scan the articles that eventually make up this blog, I still can realize that I’m better off than many others. In a way this blog is my therapy. Instead of, like my contemporaries, slamming bourbon for breakfast and cursing God for my lot in life, I can ease into my day emboldened by the knowledge that I still have a place to live and people who tolerate me. In small doses, to be sure, but they’re still there. Of course, some days, such as this one, also provide me with role models. For example, a couple, recently arrested in Texas, decided to kill the time on the long ride to jail by engaging in oral sex while handcuffed in the back of the cruiser. With the cop driving. How she unbuttoned his pants with her teeth is a closely guarded secret. And the bonus to this story? They were busted at a fast food joint while doing drugs.

“Well, honey, you didn’t get to finish that burger, how’d you feel about getting your protein a different way?”

Now, folks, you have met the perfect couple. And, when they get out in 3 to 5, I’m sure we’ll all get invitations to the classy wedding. It’ll be just like the Kardashians but without all the cameras.

So, as long as we’re talking about happy families, or families to be, let’s head on up to Minneapolis where a civic minded young man turned his mom into the cops to make her stop smoking pot.

A concerned son helped lead police to his mother and stepfather’s home, where eight pounds of marijuana was being kept inside their master bedroom.

According to the criminal complaint, the son told his biological father about what he had seen and smelled in the Dakota County home owned by Heidi and Mark Siebenaler. He then took a picture of a Walmart bag that was full of a leafy green substance, which was turned over to police.

The son spoke to officers and said he often smells burnt marijuana smoke and is sometimes unable to escape the smell unless he goes outside. The son had complained to his mother about the smell of marijuana in the Ravenna Township house, but Heidi Siebenaler told him that marijuana use is “not that bad.”

Dakota County Drug Task Force officers obtained a search warrant and found a large amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a black scale inside the home.

Mark Siebenaler also led police to a marijuana grow location, which he admitted to starting.

Mark and Heidi Siebenaler face fifth-degree charges of aiding and abetting drugs. Mark also faces a second charge of aiding and abetting with the intent to sell.

First off, I’m allergic to THC so I get where the kid is coming from. Even so, I still think pot should be legalized. And then as heavily restricted and taxed as cigarettes. That would solve lots of problems.

But not all.

A Washington woman was recently arrested for child endangerment for trying to calm down her kid by forcing him to inhale.

A woman accused of blowing marijuana smoke in her son’s face is going to jail for a year.

Diane Etchison, 37, who used to live in Longview but now lives in Pendleton, Ore., pleaded guilty this week to charges in the case.

Cowlitz County authorities said Etchison blew smoke into the 13-year-old boy’s face for his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The Longview Daily News reported that Etchison told officers she gave the boy marijuana because the family was out of the prescription he needed.

An officer involved with the case informed Etchison that the state health care program provides prescription medication to the family for free, but Etchison said “Well, sometimes I didn’t have a ride,” the paper reported.

In addition to blowing marijuana in his face, Etchison said she also provided marijuana to the boy; she is believed to have attempted to get her son high six times between 2007 and 2010.

The boy, now 16, told the Daily News that his mother “just wanted him to try it,” but that he didn’t like it because it burned his throat.

The jail sentence was an agreement made with Cowlitz County prosecutors.

Kids these days. They won’t get high, want real jobs and are willing to put their parents in the slammer to get their way. Where has society gone wrong?

Back in my day the moms who had the drugs were the cool ones. You could even get them to buy you beer.

Oh well, **sigh**, times change.

Nevertheless, in Alabama, police arrested a mother who’s newborn tested positive for THC.

Police in Florence, Alabama say a woman was arrested after her newborn baby tested positive for having marijuana in her system.

Jennifer Lynn Sopanos, 35, of Florence, was charged with “chemical endangerment of a child,” reports The Associated Press.

Sopanos’ baby boy was born March 16 at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. Police claim the baby tested positive for THC, a principal psychoactive in cannabis. The mother also tested positive, according to Keith Johnson, a police detective.

Sopanos has denied using marijuana in her pregnancy, according to Johnson. She said the positive test was due to second-hand cannabis smoke.

Exactly how Sopanos would be “chemically endangering” her child is far from clear, since according to the best scientific research available, marijuana use by pregnant woman may actually reduce infant mortality.

Mothers who took no drugs at all had 15.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the study. Mothers who tested positive for cocaine had 17.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, and mothers who tested positive for opiates had 18.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.

But mothers who tested positive for cannabis had only 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. In other words, drug-free mothers have 57 percent more stillbirths than mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy.

The benefits to babies don’t end there. The scientific research tells us that toking mothers have babies that are just as healthy (if not healthier; see above) as babies born of non-toking mothers.

And you know what else the research showed?

That the babies of pot-smoking mothers scored better on laboratory tests of cognition than babies of non-toking mothers.

It makes sense, after all. Mother’s milk naturally contains the body’s own THC-like substances, the endocannabinoids, which exert a number of beneficial effects on the baby, including stimulating appetite and improving sleep patterns.

Mothers give their babies a booster shot of the body’s own cannabinoids in breast milk to give them the munchies, because they have to learn to eat, according to Dr. Robert Melamede, one of the leading researchers into endocannabinoids and their effects.

So believe anything you want, Alabama — but if you’re interested in science?

Science says pot-smoking moms have healthier, smarter babies than anyone else.

Before the moms to be reading this head out to their local street corner to stock up, keep in mind that this too must be done in moderation.

As to the young lady who was arrested it seems her lawyer is looking forward to beating up on the state’s lawyer so that should be fun to follow.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnNSP7h3iyo&w=480&h=360]

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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